6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

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6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by WC0909 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:55 am

First time posting - hope its to the right spot...
As the title indicates Rocko escaped 6 months ago, went crazy trying to find him - set out food, water, heat sources... stayed up all hours of the night... jumped at every noise I heard... I know they are just pets... but Rocko had a personality that I came to appreciate - and missed.

So after 3 months of this i pretty much gave up hope - it was the holiday season and i figured he couldn't have lasted with the cold weather Crying or Very sad long story short I am remodeling my kitchen and must have disturbed him enough to come out of hiding.

So I have my Leo back... but he is skin and bones. i gave him some water last night which he eagerly drank, and am planning on making a trip to the store today to get food and supplies (i just did a spring cleaning and gave a lot of his stuff away) but what sort of diet should i be planning on giving him to get hm back to health? worms and crickets - start right away with the calcium powder...? ? any help would be appreciated.

TL:DR - found my Leo after 6 months - skin and bones - diet to regain health?

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by samsleopardgeckos on Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:29 am

hiya,
just start by offering him small amounts of food daily and dust food every other day for the first month. if you get mealworms just put 4-6 in a bowl or 2-3locust/crickets in with him and you could give him a couple of waxworms each week.

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by kathstew on Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:52 am

Agreed with Sam, don't feed him too much at once. I believe it is called refeeding syndrome? It can occur if you feed him too much too quickly after not eating for a long time.

I would offer him small meals, a few times throughout the day. Variety of feeders as well, so you can get a mixture of the nutrients and proteins into him. Offer water a lot, get him hydrated again, because he has probably been dehydrated.

Has he gone to the bathroom yet? If the urate is yellow then that is a sign he is dehydrated.

I'd also keep the heat on the warmer side of the spectrum. You may want to consider getting him to a vet as well, to make sure he didn't pick up any parasites or bugs as well.

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by Kermit on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:02 am

Agree'd. Sam is definately the authority on rehabbing leos/herps on the forum. Any advice she gives is certainly going to be useful and accurate thumbs up 2 Like mentioned start small with feeding, and yes Kathryn it is called refeeding syndrom. You don't want to feed high protein feeders. Make sure to have a good mix of fats and proteins in your feeders, likely more fats since refeeding syndrom is usually caused by high protein intake. Be careful what multi vit you use as some include protein in their mixture so adjust your feeders to compendate for this. You could also do a soak every couple days in warm water to help with hydration and to make sure there isn't any stuck shed anywhere on him, esp. his eyes. You might want to flush his eyes with some plain saline solution for contacts just to make sure there's no debris from his adventures out lurking under his eye rims. I would keep his temps on the higher end of the scale... like 95-96*F until you notice he starts putting some weight back on. Make sure you are heating by using an under tank heater. Your substrait should be sanitary, either paper towels or easy to clean tiles such as natural stone or peel and stick high end vinyl tiles.

Sam could you elaborate on the dusting schedule you mentioned? Is that dusting every other day with an all in 1 suppliment, multi vit, or calcium with D3 suppliment?

Congrats on finding Rocko... just make sure he can't escape again, lets get this fella back to good health thumbs up

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by samsleopardgeckos on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:21 am

Thanks Kathryn and Kel Smile

Dusting wise I would get some Nutrobal or Arkvits for the every other day dusting and maybe for the first month also get some ZolcalD liqiud calcium to mix in his water every other day also.

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by Kermit on Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:30 am

WCO we need to know your location in order to recommend the proper suppliments. The ones taht sam mentioned are UK brands so if you're in the UK great, you know what to get,but if you're in the US we'll need to tell you which ones you can find here that are similar to what she suggested.

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by WC0909 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:02 am

Ahh... yes that makes sense as to why i couldn't find those at the local stores... I'm in the US - New York.

As an update - he ate one cricket last night, begrudgingly. I went with the medium sized crickets thinking the softer shells and smaller size would be better to digest. Every time he finds the water bowls (i set up three in his tank) he takes full advantage of them and this morning he ate another cricket - this time his pre-strike tail wag was back...

So here is another question of sorts... i feel like when watching him now - he looks like an old man standing on a beach looking out at the ocean wanting to return to freedom... expect he isnt old and he isnt standing, he is trying to climb the glass. i cant decide if its a true escape that he is aiming for, or if he see's his reflection and is trying to get to another Leo. He always has done this in the past, but now that he has escaped i'm taking it a little more serious... Before he escaped i was designing a new/bigger cage which i was hoping would calm him down a bit... right now he is in a 20 gallon glass tank - i was planning more of a terrarium feel with rock walls, water fall, live plants, (and a more secure roof!)

A) would this help?
B) would adding another Leo help?

Also - thanks for all the feedback. This whole thing has blown my mind a little.


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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by Kermit on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:25 am

If he's always climbed the walls before his escape it could just likely be a behavior pattern that he's continuing that has nothing to do with wanting to get back to freedom. A larger tank, more hides, less exposed glass with reflections could help, he could just be wanting your attention... it's really guess work. Adding another leo definately WON'T help. Leos are solitary creatures and do not crave the attention or company of other leos. If you want to simulate more of what he had during his escape add some more small hides that he barely fits into, try to simulate the space you found him in... was it a tight fit? was it more open but low roof? Figure out what it is he was living in then try as best you can to mimic that for him in his viv. He may just be feeling a bit "exposed".

As far as the suppliments go... Sam was recommending (and correct me if I'm wrong her hon), the UK equivelant to an all in 1 suppliment (the nutrobal). You can find something similar stateside with Repashy calcium plus or T-Rex brand complete leopard gecko dust icb by sandfire foods. You can likely find the T-Rex in some herp shops or you can absolutely order both on line. The repashy you can find at Josh's frogs, and the T-rex you can find at reptile direct.com (or several other places). Those were just two off the top of my head. As far as the liquid, I'm pretty sure that is just a liquid calcium suppliment so any that you find stateside should suffice. Again Sam please correct me if I'm wrong. Liquid calcium is just easier to abosrb than the powered stuff which is why it is recommended for suppliment deficient leos.

It's good that he ate something and that his tail swagger is back Smile Those are all good signs. Don't be afraid to give him a wax worm or 2 to help get the fat to protein balance he needs right now to avoid refeeding issues. Just so you know as far as your tank redesign goes... waterfalls generally are very hard to maintain and they tend to raise your humidity levels too high for leos. if he was a crested gecko I'd say sure get the waterfall, but for leos they really don't need more than 40% humidity before you could run into problems. You heatng and substrait are what is most important. Absolutely need a under tank heater, and depending on how tall you make the new viv maybe even a ceramic heat emitter to make sure his ambient air temps stay above 65*F.

I can imagine this whole thing has been a it of a shock for both of yas... just go back to your settling in routine. minimal handling for the most part, feed on a regular schedule, but don't over feed. Make sure he's getting the proper suppliments and watch for anything abnormal such as raspy breath, mbd looking symptms such as down on his haunches all the time, body dragging, jaw out of alignment, etc. I think you're going to be just fine, just let him recouperate... it could take a month or so before he's back to his normal self and putting on decent weight. His poos might look a bit funky at first but that's most likely just the GI coming out of stasis and getting use to processing food again so don't panic too much if he gives you some bad poos the next couple weeks.

Keep up the good work thumbs up we're here if ya need anything Smile

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by samsleopardgeckos on Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:58 am

I dont know the american brands kel so cant correct you Smile If you can get a brand called Exo-terra they are good, you can get a liquid calcium, pure calcium powder and a multi-vitamin powder off them that will help your little guy. And yes kel liquid calcium is easyier to absorb but i also found some of mine wont eat there food if it has powder on it so liquid calcium is the only way i can get them to take it in.

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by Kermit on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:59 am

Thanks for the imput sam, I just needed the clarification on the liquid calcium suppliment. Do they also contain D3 or would you need to use your multi vit to suppliment that one? I think an all in 1 suppliment like the repashy or T-Rex would be better for this particular fella, that's what nutrobal is right, an all in 1 suppliment?

Thanks Hon Smile

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Re: 6 Months Lost, Found Last Night, Need Rehab Advice

Post by samsleopardgeckos on Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:40 am

Depends what brand of product you get,
Exo-terra do a liquid calcium thats just calcium, they also do 2types of calcium powder ~ pure calcium an calcium d3 and they do a multi-vitamin powder.
I dont know much about T-Rex products but T-Rex do calcium drops but there not ones you mix into there water you give them straight to the gecko of drip onto there food, the only product of T-Rex's I've ever used is there Calcium Micro Stick Powder which is good.
On the front of what i would advice to use is the exo-terra or vetark if you can get them over there (ebay) only cos my vet has checked ingredients in these to check they are suitable and he also checked the T-Rex calcium micro stick powder for me to.

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